SPECIAL ADVISORY: In accordance with Yale University’s revised COVID-19 protocols, the Yale University Art Gallery is closed to the public until further notice. Learn More

Asian Art

Mirror with Four Fabulous Animals Representing the Four Directions

late 7th–8th century CE

Bronze with silverplate

2 15/16 in. (7.5 cm)
Gift of Schuyler V.R. Cammann, B.A. 1935
1969.55.6
The use of four animals to represent the four cardinal directions had become an important motif in Chinese art by the beginning of the Han dynasty. The dragon symbolizes the east; the phoenix—or vermilion bird—the south; the tiger, the west; and the turtle, the north.
Geography: 
China
Status: 
On view
Culture: 
Chinese
Period: 
Tang dynasty (618–907 C.E.)
Classification: 
Tools and Equipment
Provenance: 

Schuyler Van Rensselaer Cammann (1912–1991), Portland, OR; given to the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn., 1969

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.